Quack Medicine Stall

Humphrey Spender photographed a quack medicine stall in Bolton Market on Thursday 23rd September 1937. He also wrote an observation of the stall. His comments add rich detail to the sequence of photographs. They also provide factual information so we can date the photographs and others on the same film.

Observation of Quack Medicine Stall

Humphrey Spender’s written observation of the quack medicine stall:

Market Thursday September 23rd      H.S.

Quack Medicine Stall: Stoutish woman dressed as nurse.

Constant patter.

½ hour for giving samples of yellow-brown liquid out of bottle, sells tablets to make up the medicine. Many buyers.

Then says “Going to talk again for five seconds. Here we have two instruments invented by Germans, stethoscope (produces one) and pulsometer. Now watch the effect of my left hand on the P. Good heart, good digestion, good liver, kidneys working nothing wrong. Now lets take the little lady here. Watch. Now you have a clenching pain here (indicates groin) sometimes when you come down from a bus you feel as though you’d fall forward. When you bend down you feel as though you won’t ever get up again. URIC ACID (shouts) Sometimes it leaves you for one week, a fortnight, but it comes back. You need medicine.”

Woman acquiesces, always.

ANAEMIA rheumatism palpitations and many more ailments were mentioned. The woman addressed always acquiesces buys medicine.

At side of page:

A woman comes up afterwards and says her? (relation) is very much better. Well that’s the main thing says nurse mixing coloured liquids!